McDonald's calorie shockers and some surprising alternatives

Next week, McDonald's restaurants across the country will  post the calorie information on their menu. Here's a look at some favorite items that clock in with some shockingly high calories --likely to leave a bad taste in your mouth.  But when it comes to calories, there are some surprising alternatives, too.

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    Leaves a Bad Taste: Large Vanilla McCafe Shake:  820 calories  A large (22 oz) vanilla milkshake from the McCafe will set you back 820 calories. That's about two-thirds of a whole day's calorie content of 1,500, recommend for weight loss. A medium (16 oz) shake has 670 calories, while the small (12 oz) vanilla milkshake has 530 calories. 
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    Leaves a Good Taste: Vanilla Ice Cream Cone: 170 calories  Skip the shake and go for a lower-calorie vanilla ice cream cone to satisfy your sweet tooth. Don't be tempted by the delicious-looking McFlurries. Even the snack size McFlurry with Oreos has 340 calories.
     
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    Leaves a Bad Taste: Strawberry McCafé Shake (16 oz): 700 calories  It's a given that milkshakes are going to be high in calories. A medium (16 oz) strawberry shake has 700 calories. That's more than a Double Cheeseburger that clocks in at 440 calories.  If you are counting calories, one milkshake equals a small iced non-fat caramel mocha (200 calories) plus a large order of french fries (500 calories).   
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    Leaves a Good Taste: Strawberry Banana Smoothie (16 oz): 260 calories Instead of splurging on the strawberry shake that had 700 calories, get a medium (16 oz) strawberry banana smoothie. Think of everything you can eat with the 440 calories you save. 
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    Leaves a Bad Taste: Big Breakfast with Hotcakes (Large Size Biscuit): 1150 calories Believe it or not, the big breakfast with hotcakes (and eggs and sausage and hashbrowns) and a large biscuit is the highest-calorie item on the McDonald's menu.  This calorie bomb is a great way to start your day, as long as you don't eat anything else in the next 24 hours.
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    Leaves a Good Taste: Hotcakes: 350 calories You can always ditch the extras of the big breakfast and just order the hotcakes which, at 350 calories, are probably a better way to start off your day. You can add a hash brown for an additional 150 calories. If you want the whole breakfast experience wrapped in one, you can get a sausage, egg and
    cheese McGriddle (560 calories). 
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    Leaves a Bad Taste: Angus Deluxe: 750 calories  Sure, the Angus Deluxe burger is made with a third-pound Angus beef patty and two slices of cheese, but it also has 750 calories. Add a small order of fries (230 calories) and your meal almost hits the 1000 calorie mark. 
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    Leaves a Good Taste: Angus Bacon & Cheese Snack Wrap: 390 calories Instead of eating the Angus Deluxe (or worse- the 790-calorie Angus Bacon &
    Cheese), choose the Angus bacon and cheese snack wrap. You get both bacon and Angus beef for almost half the calories. You can also order the snack wrap version of the Angus Deluxe (410 calories). 
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    Leaves a Bad Taste: Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Crispy Chicken (without dressing): 390 calories You may think that you are taking the health route by ordering a salad, but take a closer look. The premium bacon ranch salad with crispy chicken has, well, bacon and fried chicken. Without the dressing, the salad is only 390 calories. However, add in a packet of Newman's Own Ranch Dressing (170 calories), and your salad suddenly contains 10 more calories than a Big Mac. You can always opt for a lighter dressing, but then you would be missing out on the ranch aspect of the salad. 
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    Leaves a Good Taste: Premium Grilled Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich: 380 calories If you are willing to substitute grilled chicken for fried chicken, you can enjoy a the previous salad in sandwich form for 380 calories...and that includes the ranch sauce. The Premium Crispy Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich has 540 calories, which is still fewer than the salad with dressing. 
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    Leaves a Bad Taste: Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese: 750 calories The double quarter pounder with cheese not only has 750 calories, it also contains 19 grams of saturated fat, or 95 percent of your daily value.  
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    Leaves a Good Taste: Double Cheeseburger: 440 calories If a burger with a single patty isn't going to cut it, opt for the traditional double cheeseburger (440 calories) instead of the double quarter pounder with cheese. Other burgers under the 500 calorie mark? The McDouble (390 calories) and the Daily Double (440 calories).  See the calories of the entire McDonald's menu here
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